Brittney Buell is blazing an impressive new trail for herself as the first member of her family to graduate from high school.
The Crittenden County High School senior stays busy through her involvement with athletics, clubs, leadership positions and working hard to maintain her high academic standards. Buell, who is the senior class president and a four-year member of the student council, said she enjoys leading her class and implementing positive change to her school.
"I love listening to people's ideas and then being the one who carries them out," she said.
Buell, daughter of Donald and Kimberly Buell, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different teen selected from nominees submitted to the Sun by guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois. Mid-Continent University will provide each Teen of the Week with a $2,500 annual scholarship to its university, which is renewable for four years.
In the spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners. The Teen of the Year is eligible for a full four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent or a cash award of $2,500, paid through the Paducah Sun, if the student selects another college to attend.
Buell is actively involved as a four-year member of the Pep Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, as well as a three-year member of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America and the Future Educators of America clubs. She also has been involved with the Future Business Leaders of America, Peer Medication Team, Sportsman's Club and Beta Club. She is also a three-year member and current assistant editor for the Rockette yearbook staff.
"It's fun to be creative and design the layout and theme of the yearbook and then to see people's faces light up when they open it," she said.
Buell lists her favorite extracurricular activity as Pep Club, because it allows her the opportunity to show off her love for the high school. She also received the Most School Spirit Award and was named 2013 fall homecoming queen.
The Chicago native moved to Marion as a baby. She excels at sports, playing six years of softball as center fielder and first baseman, four years of volleyball, and three years of cheerleading. She served as the captain for both softball and volleyball during her senior year, was named all-district in both sports, and honored as overall most athletic by the senior class.
"Winning all-district was one of the best moments, because it was what I had been working my entire career for," she said.
She said her love of athletics began at home with her father, who played multiple sports. Buell donated much of her time to teaching all three sports to younger students. She also spends her free time giving back to the community through her church, Life in Christ Church's Food and Paper Box Ministry, which provides food and necessary home products to the elderly community and sponsors local children through the Community Christmas program each year.
The 3.97 grade-point average student, who has earned honor roll every year since sixth-grade, said her favorite class is mathematics, as she enjoys the satisfaction that comes along with solving a difficult equation. She plans to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson and major in biology and then continue to medical school for a future career as an anesthesiologist or pediatrician. Buell is looking forward to the independence associated with a college career in a new state.
She became interested in the medical profession at home while helping care for her nieces and nephews. That interest was fostered by volunteer hours spent at the Crittenden County Hospital through the Junior Auxiliary Program which allows students to shadow careers in the medical profession.
"High school has flown by, but now I want to branch out and be independent," she said. "If I can get through being away from my family and not knowing anyone, then I can get through anything."
Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.